Published on August 25th, 2013 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Killer is Dead
Release date: 29th August 2013
Available on: PlayStation 3, XBox 360
Summary: On a scale of one-to-ten for “weirdness”, this third-person hack ‘n slash game scores about five-hundred and twelve. Brought to you by Suda 51, the same loopy mind that brought us: Lollipop Chainsaw, Shadows of the Damned and No More Heroes, this game takes those titles to a whole new level of twisted.
Concept: Main fella, Mondo Rappa, is a suave, modern-day executioner who works for a firm that eliminates dangerous crims. Wearing a suit and glasses while wielding a katana blade and powerful cyborg arm, he’s like a cyberpunk James Bond, but if only it were that simple! Each episode is the complicated story of a different hit. There’s an in-your-face weirdness to the characters, monsters and plot that keeps things engaging, but the dialogue? It’s laughably bad.
Graphics: Shadow-heavy cell-shading presents a unique, noir-style with the characters and cutscenes. We think it looks cool, but many will shun it for being too arty-farty. The style is used as an excuse to refrain from finer detail in many areas, where texture is minimal.
Gameplay: Movement around the field is a little stiff, while combat is a nice mish-mash of sword-swipes, pummeling and shooting from your mechanical “Musselback” arm. Basic melee moves include upgradable blocks, dodges and counters with a series of quick strikes. The flow of this linear game is broken-up well between the action, mini-games and a heavy-dose of story.
Sound: The jazzy music is martini-sippingly cool. As for the voices, cheesy one-liners and “statements of great wisdom” just end up getting laughed at by the player. Much of the unnecessary chit-chat could have been culled, but regardless of this, the pacing of the game is still strong, so you won’t be looking for the power button halfway through it.
Awesomeness: The warped art style serves as a strong medium for the trippy and surreal scenes, like giant-cleavage spiders, cross-dimensional candy houses, inexplicable missions on the moon and a busty nurse riding a floating syringe. There’s even gigolo events where – if you can check out a babe at the bar without her catching you – you can summon the “guts” to offer her gifts and leave the bar together; Social awkwardness at it’s most cringeworthy, yet hilariously awesome at the same time.
Final Word: Chances are you’ve played nothing like this game which is heavily-dipped in Suda 51’s favorite things – see Killer 7 and No More Heroes (but much better). There’s no way this game is going to appeal to everyone, but if you’re into the darker side of anime and manga, it’s a cult hit you shouldn’t miss. The story is nonsensical and ridiculous but the never-ending cache of surprises and twists will have you crying “what the ****?!” at the TV, and licking your lips for more.
Score out of 5 bugs
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing